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SCC Library, 5-Year Program Review: 2014-2019

Written by SCC Library faculty; submitted July 2019 to the SCC Library Dean and VP of Instruction

Executive Summary

1. List and discuss major strengths for the department/program.

Library services are student-centered and provided by skilled, highly motivated, responsive staff and faculty who are well regarded by the students, discipline faculty, and other patrons we serve.

Library staff and faculty have built relationships of trust at the college. The goodwill that exists between SCC students/faculty and library personnel enables us to support not just the academic needs of SCC students, but all aspects of learning and teaching including overall student success. Students feel comfortable approaching library staff/faculty for help, and college faculty/staff/administrators, recognizing that we are responsive, have confidence including us in their cadre of support services.

Cross-sector relationships form the backbone of our ability to serve the college community.

The SCC library sustains partnerships with multiple departments within SCC, the SFCC Library, and local, state, and national networks. These partnerships are crucial to our ability to provide services which enhance success and lifelong-learning for students on workforce, academic transfer, and pre-college pathways.

Collaborations with discipline faculty are key to the library's ability to impact students.

Relationships with college faculty are of prime importance for implementing our strategy of integrating information literacy (IL) into students' college experiences. Librarians maintain a strong focus on collaborating with discipline faculty as a means of infusing IL into the curriculum in ways which are meaningful for students.

The library participates in several resource sharing networks.

Resource sharing is a critical function of academic libraries. SCC Library cooperates with several local, state, and national networks in order to provide comprehensive access to information sources, organize and maintain our collection, and support students at point of need by providing one-to-one research help 24/7.

We collect a lot of data about the services we provide.

Library personnel collect a variety of data to measure and monitor library instruction, services, and the collection.

2. List and discuss major concerns of the department/program.

A. We collect a lot of data about the services we provide.

During the review period (last five years), library administration required frequent data collection, assessments, and reports. Regular data collection, special projects, and annual program-level review (in the form of Strategic Program Assessments) has left us with a large body of data, but insufficient time to adequately reflect upon it and use it to plan and implement thoughtful interventions.

B. Improved budget transparency is needed.

Library personnel have been unaware of the amount of money allocated to our budget and how these funds are spent. This lack of knowledge prevents library faculty from being able to thoughtfully and responsibly plan collection development.

C. Improved communication transparency is needed.

The library lacks a coordinated strategy for communicating to the college the value we provide.

D. The library collection requires attention.

In order to stay current and relevant, a library collection requires continual development. Lacking budgetary resources and a clear remit to manage the collection, the quality and currency of our library resources is in need of attention.

E. Insufficient staffing has affected quality of services to students and the college.

High staff turnover and decisions to cut positions have left us with insufficient staff for providing the high level of service which is our aim. For some time, we've had only one permanent staff person. Requiring that staff absorb the responsibilities of unfilled positions has resulted in an unsustainable workload and inefficiencies which impact students and faculty.

F. Increased workload is of concern.

While each partnership the library forms and maintains results in benefits to students, planning and implementing new affiliations adds to librarian and staff workload. In addition, moving services from elsewhere on campus into the library (like the computer lab) while simultaneously reducing staff has resulted in library personnel working beyond a sustainable capacity. While we're eager to support new initiatives, we are mindful of the need to carry a reasonable workload so that we can continue to provide excellent service.

3. Identify specific steps to address areas of concerns.

A. (Data collection)

Conducting program review in accordance with the college's cycle of five years instead of annually will be a great aid in our ability to work through the full assessment process which allows for reflection, planning, implementation of thoughtful interventions, and sharing findings with the college community. We've made recommendations which include:

  • considered selection of which data is best collected
  • honing the focus of the evidence we collect by aligning data collection with the mission, values, and themes of SCC
  • exploring ways to streamline data collection and share our findings with the college

B. (Budget transparency)

Library faculty and staff should be informed about the library budget and have some amount of agency in deciding how the budget is spent, particularly for the purposes of collection and instruction. The new administration structure for library services will greatly aid in creating budget transparency.

C. (Communication transparency)

Forming open communication channels is ongoing work. We have made recommendations that library personnel take steps to more actively communicate to the college community the value which the library brings to students, instructors, and other campus constituents.

D. (Collection needs attention)

We have requested that a faculty librarian be granted the authority to serve as our collection development librarian, that the tenure-track position for the librarian who serves in this role be restored, and that a person is hired to fill the vacant cataloger staff position.

E. (Insufficient staffing)

We have requested that a sufficient number of personnel be hired to adequately staff the library's circulation and computer lab support services. 

Filling the vacant cataloger position will enable the library to take up critical work which has been abandoned for some time.

In light of the new library reorganization and considering staff responsibilities for participating in college meetings, ongoing professional development to expand skills, and the need to accommodate staff who may take occasional leave, there is not a sufficient number of circulation personnel to cover the library Check Out Desk.

F. (Workload concerns)

As we consider expanding services to engage in additional initiatives and cultivate current partnerships, we will seek ways to work more efficiently and effectively.

4. What are the most important actions that need to be taken to maintain the current level of quality of the department/program?

Budget transparency should be implemented and librarian faculty should be empowered to develop the collection.

Library personnel should be informed about the library budget, involved in decision making, and be given the authority to develop the collection.

Alma-Primo training for a librarian and cataloging staff person should be provided.  

The library management system, Alma/Primo, was adopted hurriedly and without personnel being fully trained to use its multiple functions. We potentially have robust tools at our disposal, but don't know fully how to use them. We recommend that a librarian and a cataloger (should one be hired) be supported in receiving complete and ongoing training.

Impending changes to consortial and cooperative agreements which require prompt attention should be addressed.

1. QuestionPoint

The library technology vendor, Springshare, has recently acquired OCLC's QuestionPoint, the 24/7 Reference Cooperative of which we are a member. The changeover of this service to the Springshare platform will necessitate that we revisit our agreements with the new vendor and review the current joint membership we hold with the SFCC Library. Administrator training for an SCC librarian is recommended.

2. WIN: Washington Idaho Network

Gonzaga University libraries have imminent plans to leave our resource sharing cooperative, WIN. When they leave, we will lose a critical resource sharing partner and much of the infrastructure which enables the cooperative to exist. The library should consider alternative consortia as soon as possible in order to avoid gaps in service for students and the college.

5. Describe any plans to advance the department/program.

In light of the recently announced library reorganization, thoughtful reconfiguration of library functions

The current library reorganization will bring welcome opportunities for improvement along with significant work. It's taken years to knit together the personnel, responsibilities, services, and financial agreements of the SCC and SFCC libraries. We will aim to keep combined those functions which it makes sense to keep together and separate those which are best parted.

Maintaining and growing current connections which work well

Several services we currently provide work well. Students, faculty, and other stakeholders report high levels of satisfaction with instruction, reference services, many aspects of library space, and general support from the library. We intend to continue providing high quality services and have plans to expand our instructional support to include the needs of Guided Pathways. As a result of this initiative, we are partnering with faculty in the English department to teach information literacy for an increased number of ENGL 101 sections in the fall.

Forging new partnerships in areas where our connections are weak

Library partnerships with CTE (career and technical education) and developmental education would benefit from more concentrated library outreach. We will explore ways to better serve students and faculty in these areas.

Supporting Documents